The best way to keep yourself and your baby healthy is to avoid getting AIDS in the first place. Risky behaviors, like drug use, having sex with a man who uses drugs, and prostitution can put a woman and her baby at risk for AIDS, drug addiction, and other diseases. A latex or silicone condom can help reduce the risk, but the best solution is to simply not have sex with someone if there's a chance he could be HIV positive.
Women who have induced abortions have an increased risk of HIV-1 infection of 172%. (Researchers are at least 99% confident of this result.)
"Significantly higher prevalence of infection [HIV-1] were associated with induced abortion (0.49%) than with delivery (0.18%) (OR: 2.72; 95% CI: 2.29-3.22)" - European Journal of Epidemiology, "Deliveries, abortion and HIV-1 infection in Rome, 1989-1994," 1997,13:373-378.
HIV and the Baby
The good news is a pregnant, HIV positive woman will not usually give her child the disease. There is a 75% chance that the child will be completely unaffected if the HIV+ mother does nothing. The odds of having an uninfected child are less than 8% if the mother is treated with ZDV (AZT) during the pregnancy. For this reason it is recommended that all pregnant women avail themselves of an HIV test as soon as pregnancy is discovered.
Because the child takes on the mother's immune system, the infant will have HIV antibodies, subsequently testing positive after birth. Not until the child is eighteen months old can it be known for certain whether or not he or she is actually infected with the AIDS virus. It has even been documented that some infected infants clear themselves of the AIDS virus. Although most children who do contract AIDS have poor prognoses, some lead healthy and relatively unaffected lives. If the prospect of raising a child with AIDS is too difficult, there are families who are willing to adopt HIV+ babies.